Personal accolades are never as good as a semi-final – Tolo eyes grand final ticket
Marianna Tolo almost missed her 200th game.
She returned from France on Wednesday just days before the first semi-final game with the highly contagious flu which had her in bedridden.
Fortunately, the doctor made the call on Sunday that her health had improved enough to play. It may have meant less minutes than normal, but with the help of Keely Froling, the UC Capitals got the job done.
“If the game was a day earlier I wouldn’t have played because I still would have been infectious while I was happy to play I didn’t want my teammates or the opposition to get sick either so it was very, very close and I’m so glad that I was able to play,” said Tolo.
So, Tolo was able to reach this special milestone on Sunday which, she says, has come around so quickly.
“I’m lucky to have made it here considering the seasons I’ve had out with injury and overseas. It’s cool to think back on all the seasons and how many different people I’ve had the chance to play with. The experiences I’ve had and people I have got to meet have made all these games special.”
Tolo first joined the UC Capitals in 2008 and has been the only WNBL club she’s played with since.
“I love the Capitals, it was the first team I came to out of the AIS because I believed it was the place where I had the greatest chance of getting better as a player and person. The history, players, staff, facilities and supporters made it so. The support system here is great and the way Canberra gets around us is so special. This club has shaped who I am today and will continue to do so in the future.”
But for Tolo, no individual honour could compare to another finals opportunity with the UC Capitals.
“Personal accolades are never as good as a semi-final which was super exciting. We got to play in front of a lot of people and they were really involved which is what we love and it made it extra special when we got the win.
“No individual award is ever going to be able to top a team achievement so for me the semi is more significant, especially considering the ups and downs we have had this season.”
The first semi-final win must have been the remedy Tolo needed as she’s feeling much better and has returned to training.
“It was a tough week just staying at home in bed all day in isolation just trying to get my fluids and rest up, it’s nice to be around the girls again and looking to have a really good week at practice leading into an important game on Sunday.”
The UC Capitals will fly to Melbourne on Saturday where they will hope to secure their spot in the grand final.
“I think the game on Sunday will be a completely different one with their home crowd. They’re a team that can shoot really well at times and when they get that momentum and that confidence, they’re a completely different team so I think they will be tough,” said Tolo.
Head Coach Paul Goriss, who was named Coach of The Year yesterday, knows that the Boomers will be a different team on Sunday.
“It was a tight game until Kia really broke it open with those three threes in a row. I think they still have confidence that, other than Kia going off, it was a two- or four-point game, and they had the lead by seven at one stage.
“Being in Melbourne with their home fans and riding their wave of energy that their crowd will give them, I think we have to tighten up offensively especially when they make runs. Our defence I thought was pretty solid for most of the game, but offensively I think we can execute better.”
Watch the UC Capitals in game two of the semi-final series on Fox Sports or Kayo on Sunday 6:30pm.